With Georgia Milestones right around the corner, many students are already starting to get test anxiety over the annual standardized assessment. There are many things you can do, as the parents, to encourage your students to study and help them overcome the scariness of testing!
1. TALK TO THEIR TEACHERS. Understanding exactly what is expected of the students will help them prepare for the test and environment. Some students with a 504 or IEP may be eiligible to alternate testing accomodations. Be sure to speak with their teacher if your student is on a 504 or IEP to ensure that all accomodations are being made.
2. LEARN HOW TO STUDY EFFICIENTLY. Some schools offer a "study skills class" or other resources. Take advantage of those resources! If your student is studying at home, encourage them to pick one specific spot and make that where they study every time. The familiarity of the location will help them focus.
3. LEARN RELAXATION TECHNIQUES. Relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, relaxing your muscles one at a time, or closing your eyes and imaginging/focusing on a positive outcome are all ways to help relax your mind and body.
4. DON'T FORGET TO EAT, DRINK WATER AND GET PLENTY OF SLEEP! Self-care is a big one! This may even be the most important. Sleep has been proven to be directly related to academic performance. Your brain also needs food and water to fuel itself! No body functions at 100% when they haven't eaten enough.
5. SPEAK WITH A PROFESSIONAL. If your student suffers from anxiety in more areas than just testing, consider speaking with a professional! Ask the school if they have a counselor on staff or if they recommend anyone specific. Talk Therapy with a mental health counselor or psychologist may help with pinpointing specific areas that are causing the anxiety in the first place.
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